Gary Merle Wright, otherwise know as the “old fart” by those that knew him well, was born August 31st. What year you ask? “Every year” as he liked to joke. He reached the ‘end of the line’ as they say in the railroad world, on June 1, 2020, after a long battle with heart disease at the young age of 73.
Gary was born in Denver, CO where he spent most of his youth. He spent many summers visiting cousins from the surrounding areas of Salida, Buena Vista and Colorado Springs. There were many memories and close bonds made in those days swimming in a cold river until they were blue! Later, he joined the Navy and served briefly in Viet Nam, service of which he was fiercely proud of. His love of trains was sparked at a young age, and he kept that love all through his life. He was always talking about the trains when he visited Buena Vista as a boy and the passion just grew over the years. He had a very different sense of humor and loved to pick on people, and if you couldn’t pick back, then he didn’t see you as a true friend. He loved to joke with people that he was always Right (Wright), hence the name. He could be a handful, but his heart was always in the right place.
After the Navy, he took up the profession of truck driver and later met his first wife, Phyllis Gray and had a daughter, Bethann. After he and Phyllis divorced, he married Betty Lumbert, and inherited 4 stepdaughters, Kerrie Lapoehn (Roy), Jamie Petzel (Richard), Crystal Stover (Bill) and Tracy Bowker (Chuck). He is survived by all of his daughters, many grandchildren and great grandchildren, as well as beloved cousins and sister in laws and many friends he considered his family.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Frank Estes and Elena Amelia Merle Wright, his brothers Robert (Fern) Wright of Sedalia, CO, and Frank “Red” Estes Wright Jr. (Patricia) of Salida, CO., grandson Alex (Bethann), as and many cousins that he spoke of often.
Many thanks to all who have been part of Gary’s journey, his life was much richer because of your friendships and family ties. Also, many thanks to Columbine West Rehab and Columbine Lemay Rehab Centers in Fort Collins, CO, for the outstanding care Gary received during his tenure at both places. Given his circumstances, he found new friendships and a marvelous staff that could give back as much as he could dish out at Columbine West Health and Rehab. For that alone, the family applauds you! We are very grateful for the outstanding services that you provided him.
A memorial service will be held at Viegut Funeral Home, 1616 N. Lincoln Street, Loveland, CO on Thursday, June 11, 2020 at 1:00 PM. Military honors to follow in the parking lot right after the service and he, along with his wife of 34 years, Betty, will be interred together at Fort Logan Cemetery in Denver, CO, earlier in the day to honor his last request.